B.C. records only one COVID-19 death in past 13 days

Province's death toll from the virus that caused a global pandemic remains at 168

henry dix june 19
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry addresses media as Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on | B.C. government

B.C.'s success at wrangling down the death toll of people infected with COVID-19 continued June 19, with no new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, and only one death recorded in the past 13 days. B.C.'s death toll from COVID-19 remains at 168.

That low total is in stark contrast to the situation in some other Canadian provinces. Quebec on June 19, for example, announced that it had 35 COVID-19 deaths in the past day, and 5,375 deaths in total. In Ontario, the government announced on June 19 that it had recorded 19 COVID-19-related deaths in the past day, and 2,564 deaths in total.

Exactly why B.C. is doing such a good job at combatting COVID-19 is not known. Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said in April that "some parts of it are luck, and some parts of it are being prepared."

One theory is that B.C.'s spring break at schools was later than other provinces, so restrictions were tighter when it happened. British Columbians were warned about travel during spring break whereas Ontarians were encouraged to go and have fun.

Ontario and Quebec each also borders New York State, which is the U.S. state with the largest number of infections and deaths. 

The BC Centre for Disease Control identified seven new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, for a total of 2,790 cases since late January, when the virus first arrived in the province, according to B.C.'s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. Almost 87.6% of infected people, or 2,444 individuals, have recovered, they said.

Of the 178 people actively fighting the disease in B.C., 11 are in hospital, with six of those sick enough to be in intensive care units. The remainder are self-isolating at home.

The breakdown of all COVID-19 infections by health region is:
•  952 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
•  1,446 in Fraser Health;
•  130 in Island Health;
•  197 in Interior Health; and
•   65 in Northern Health.

"There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks," Dix and Henry said in a statement.

Several dozen of these homes have had outbreaks so far. 

The six long-term care facilities with active outbreaks are:
•Abbotsford's Tabor long-term care home;
•Langley's Maple Hill long-term care home;
•Vancouver's Holy Family Hospital;
•Port Coquitlam's Nicola Lodge;
•Langley's Langley Lodge; and
•Abbotsford's Valhaven Home.

There is also an outbreak at Mission Memorial Hospital, which spawned the outbreaks at Tabor and at Maple Hill.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom